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article imageBlu-ray/DVD Essentials: Cable and Primetime TV Favorites

By Earl Dittman     Aug 14, 2015 in Entertainment
With the fall television season approaching, it is now time to catch up on your favorite network and cable series. If you are a fan of drama ('The Knick') or suspense-filled crime stories ('Person of Interest') there is a new BD/DVD collection for you.
Missed part of the last season of Hell On Wheels, Orphan Black or Murdoch Mysteries (aka The Artful Detective)? Don't fret, because most of your fave network and hits are now available on Blu-ray and/or DVD with a ton of special features. You can rewatch that exciting final episode from the last season of The Killing, that nail-biting cliffhanger from year three of Orphan Black or just spend a whole day binging on the first season of the stylish and sizzling Steven Soderbergh-produced medical period drama The Knick.
It addition to television hits, the recent box office hits Hot Pursuit, Unfriended and True Story are also available on disc. There's is also a some Shark Week and Big Bird thrown in for good measure.
AVAILABLE ON BLU-RAY AND/OR DVD:
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HBO/Cinemax
The Knick: The Complete First Season
Set in downtown New York in 1900, The Knick is a groundbreaking new scripted drama from Oscar-winning director Steven Soderbergh starring Oscar-nominee Clive Owen. The series centers on the Knickerbocker Hospital (dubbed The Knick), which faces a major upheaval due to poor finances and an exodus of wealthy patients. The one remaining star is Dr. Thackery (played by Clive Owen) who along with the hospital staff of surgeons, nurses and other personnel must struggle to keep both themselves and the hospital going. The Knick provides a fascinating lens into some of the major issues of the time (much of which is still relevant today), including race relations, class distinctions, rapid (and unregulated) changes to medicine, drug addiction and more. Featuring an amazing cast including Andre Holland (Dr. Algernon Edwards), Juliet Rylance (Cornelia Robertson), Eric Johnson (Dr. Everett Gallinger), Michael Angarano (Dr. "Bertie" Chickering Jr.), Eve Hewson (Lucy Elkins) and more. Bonus (Blu-ray + UltraViolet) Features: Episode Post-Ops - Get educated on ground-breaking surgery techniques featured in The Knick and Audio Commentaries with cast and crew including Jack Amiel, Michael Begler, Jeremy Bobb, Eve Hewson, Michael Angarano, Chris Sullivan, Cara Seymour and Eric Johnson.
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Warner Bros
The Casual Vacancy
The Casual Vacancy centers on Pagford, a seemingly idyllic English village with a cobbled market square and ancient abbey. Behind the pretty facade, however, is a town at war: rich at war with poor, teenagers at war with their parents, wives at war with their husbands, teachers at war with their pupils. Pagford is not what it first seems. Bonus Features: "An Introduction to The Casual Vacancy" - An overview of the series, including a brief introduction to the main characters, plot and locations; "Adapting The Casual Vacancy" - How the book was brought to the screen and the production team reveals its vision. and "Casting The Casual Vacancy" - An in-depth Featurette highlighting the ensemble cast.
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EOne
Hell On Wheels: The Complete Fourth Season
Hell On Wheels tells the story of post-Civil War America and of Cullen Bohannon (Anson Mount), a soldier who sets out to exact revenge on the Union soldiers who have killed his wife. When his journey takes him west to Hell on Wheels, a lawless melting pot of a town that travels with and services the construction of the railroad, the lavishly-produced series gathers steam, and introduced characters and plotlines that have helped the Western drama become one of AMC's top-rated series – and underscores just how uncivilized the business of civilization can be. Season Three of the series ended with Cullen married to a pregnant Naomi and living in a Mormon fort where the Swede (Christopher Heyerdahl) was impersonating church leader, Bishop Dutson; Thomas "Doc" Durant (Colm Meaney) back in control of the Union Pacific Railroad which had successfully expanded westward to Cheyenne; and Elam (Common), gravely injured by a bear while searching for the missing Cullen. And, as Season Four unfolds, civilization makes its way west with the railroad, bringing with it men who attempt to do with their pens what rougher men did in seasons past with their guns. Conflict between government and big business, ranchers, homesteaders and the railroad will continue to define the drama as all of those interests compete with one another for control of Cheyenne, Wyoming, the "Magic City of the Plains", and the most important railroad hub in the country. Bonus Features: "A Look at Season 4"; "The New Characters of Season 4"; "Cheyenne Set Tour"; "Anson Mount Retrospective"; "On the Set with Colm Meaney"; "On the Set with Jake Weber" and Episode Featurettes.
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Warner Bros
Person of Interest: The Complete Fourth Season
All eyes are on Person of Interest as the show launches into another exciting season. Although they have saved countless lives thanks to The Machine’s omniscience, the team is still reeling from the devastating loss they experienced in season three and now face an uncertain future. With a second machine – Samaritan – now online, the members of the elusive team – Reese (JimCaviezel) and Finch (Michael Emerson), along with lethal operative Shaw (Sarah Shahi),unpredictable cyber-hacker Root (Amy Acker) and homicide detective Fusco (Kevin Chapman) –are now targets themselves, hiding in plain sight. Facing unknown danger, the POI team mustfind a way to outsmart Samaritan, an all-seeing, all-powerful artificial intelligence that’s self-governing, continually evolving and growing stronger every day. Meanwhile, former enemy Elias (Enrico Colantoni) now becomes a desperate ally in the fight against a new gang known asThe Brotherhood. Bonus (Blu-ray + UltraViolet) Features: "Music of Interest" – Step inside the studio of Composer Ramin Djawadi for an intimate look at his process along with Show-Runners Jonathan Nolan and Greg Plageman as they discuss scoring sequences and key elements of music themes in Person of Interest; "Going Underground with Root and Finch" – Michael Emerson and Amy Acker give us a one on one tour through the newly created Subway Headquarters with the Production Designer, Rick Butler; Person of Interest 2014 Comic-Con Panel – Executive Producers Jonathan Nolan (The Dark Knight) and Greg Plageman (Cold Case) are joined by the series’ stars for a special Q&A at the 2014 San Diego Comic-Con and Gag Reel.
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Fox
The Killing: The Complete Fourth Season
One of television's most suspenseful series ever comes to a powerful, thought-provoking close. Following the shocking murder of her former lover, Detective Sarah Linden (Mireille Enos) joins her partner Stephen Holder (Joel Kinnaman) in a race to destroy evidence that would implicate evidence in the crime. Meanwhle, the two must resolve a case involving the horrifying slaying of a prominent family whose son is enrolled in a respected military academy. Also featuring Oscar-nominee Joan Allen, the absorbing final season of this acclaimed show is riveting, addictive entertainment.
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Showtime/Paramount
The Affair: Season One
Winner of the Golden Globe for Best Television Series - Drama and Best Actress in a Television Series - Drama (Ruth Wilson), The Affair is a provocative and suspenseful look at how many stories are involved in every love affair. Noah Solloway (Dominic West) is a New York City schoolteacher and happily married father who finds himself powerfully attracted to waitress Alison Lockhart (Wilson) while vacationing with his family on Long Island. But nothing is as simple as boy-meets-girl, as both sides of the romance are explored by a detective investigation a murder. Also starring Maura Tierney and Joshua Jackson, it's every episode of the gripping first season that quickly had audiences begging for more. Bonus Features: Character Profiles and "Tale of Two Costumes"; Plus: Happyish: Episodes 1 & 2, Ray Donovan: Season 1, Episode 1 and Madam Secretary: Season 1, Episode 1.
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HBO
The Comeback
The Comeback, created and executive produced by Emmy award winners Michael Patrick King and Lisa Kudrow, and singled out by Time and Entertainment Weekly as one of the ten best shows of the decade, stars Lisa Kudrow as Valerie Cherish. A former B-list sitcom star, Valerie is so desperate to revive her career that she agrees to star in a reality television show called The Comeback, with cameras following her every move as she lands a part in a new network sitcom. Ten years later, The Comeback returns to widespread critical acclaim for an even more daring, outrageous and riskier season. This time around Valerie gets back into the spotlight when cast in a new HBO series created by her old nemesis Paulie G. based on his experiences working with her. Featuring memorable appearances from guest stars such as Seth Rogen, Kellan Lutz, Malin Akerman, Andy Cohen, Sean Hayes, Conan O'Brien, Chelsea Handler and more. The Comeback explores the madness of television, a Beverly Hills lifestyle, and the trouble with growing older in Hollywood.
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BBC
Orphan Black: Season Three
Two-time Critics Choice Award-winner Tatiana Maslany returns in the pulse-racing third season of Orphan Black. After the shocking discovery of Project Castor, Sarah and her sister clones are left to battle the top-secret military project producing these lethal male clones. At the same time, Sarah tries to track down her missing twin Helena and an ailing Cosima searches for the key to the synthetic sequences that may keep them all alive. But how far are they willing to go to protect each other and their families, and who can they really trust? Orphan Black is back with more adrenaline-charged action, intrigue and suspense than ever before. Bonus Features: "Creating The Castor Clones" - Take a trip into the origins of the male clones and glimpse a day in the life of actor Ari Millen; "The Rendition Camp - Behind The Walls" - Co-Creator John Fawcett, cinematographer Aaron Morton and VFX supervisor Geoff Scott lead you on a tour around the elaborate rendition camp soundstage; "Dissecting The Scenes" - The cast and crew of Orphan Black pull back the curtain to reveal the magic of creating Season Three's four-clone scenes; "The Look Of Orphan Black" - Cinematographer Aaron Morton and director John Fawcett describe how they devised the distinctive look of Orphan Black and how it's developed over the last three seasons; "Team Hendrix - Rockin' The Suburbs" - Tatiana Maslany and Kristian Bruun dig into the strange appeal of the annual Alison/Donnie episodes; "Extended Scene: At Home with the Hendrixes" and Blooper Reel.
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Cinedigm
Discovery Channel's Shark Week: Dominating the Deep
Jump into the feeding frenzy for your favorite summertime ritual – any time at all – with this 3-disc set. Now more popular than ever, cable's longest-running programming event needs no introduction of explanation. So, strap on your gear, climb into the cage and watch the ocean explode into a wild fury as Great Whites, Hammerheads, Whale Sharks and others take you on a fin-gripping ride through their underwater world. These 10 episodes bring you more than 8 hours of remarkable insights into the lives of these magnificent, elusive creatures.
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Universal
Dig: Season One
Delve deep into the international conspiracies at the heart of Dig: Season One, the epic global thriller featuring an all-star cast led by Golden Globe nominee Jason Isaacs (The Harry Potter series, The Patriot) and Anne Heche (Donnie Brasco, Six Days Seven Nights). When FBI agent Peter Connelly (Isaacs) investigates the murder of a beautiful American woman in Jerusalem, he soon discovers that the holiest city on earth hides an unholy secret. Now, in a race against time, Peter must stop the schemes that threaten to bring about an ancient prophecy and change the course of humanity. From the executive producers of Homeland and Heroes comes an immersive, heart-racing 10-part TV event presented uninterrupted and back-to-back. Bonus Features: Alternate Pilot Episode: 4 New Scenes; Deleted Scenes and "Dig: Unearthing the Mystery."
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Acorn
Murdoch Mysteries (aka The Artful Detective), Season 8
Exuding plenty of period charm, this critically acclaimed mystery series centers on the brilliant detective William Murdoch (Yannick Bisson), a pioneer of crime-solving technologies in Victorian Toronto. Inspired by Maureen Jennings novels, Murdoch Mysteries airs on the CBC in Canada and airs in the U.S. as The Artful Detective on Ovation. In Season 8 of this delightful detective show, joy and heartbreak await Detective William Murdoch and his friends in turn-of-the-century Toronto. After his brutal beating by the dockyard gang, Inspector Brackenreid’s (Thomas Craig) future remains uncertain. Constable Crabtree (Jonny Harris) faces life-altering changes, including a new romance, while Dr. Emily Grace (Georgina Reilly) and Dr. Julia Ogden (Hélène Joy) join the women’s suffrage movement. And in the show’s 100th episode, wedding bells ring as Murdoch and Julia finally walk down the aisle. Along the way, Murdoch encounters notables like W.C. Fields, Thomas Edison, and President Theodore Roosevelt. Bonus Features: Murdoch Featurettes; 100th Episode featurette and a behind-the-scenes Photo Gallery.
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Athena
The Wild West With Ray Mears
Following the pioneers’ wagon trains through the Appalachian Mountains all the way to the Rockies, wilderness skills expert and TV presenter Ray Mears takes viewers across North America on a journey back in time to the Wild West. Featuring interviews with Cherokee tribal elder Davy Arch and members of the Navajo and Blackfoot Indian peoples, among other experts, this eight-part documentary sets out to show more than just the rugged landscape. Mears delves into how man interacts with nature and how the Wild West shaped American history. The program is currently syndicated to public television stations through APT and was originally broadcast in the UK on BBC Four in May 2014 under the title How the Wild West Was Won with Ray Mears. Bonus Features: 16-page viewer’s guide with a map of the settlers’ routes west and articles on stagecoach services, how the west was wild, pioneering women’s right to vote, little-known facts about cowboys, and Geronimo’s art of war and Profiles of fascinating women of the west.
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Cinedigm
I Am Big Bird: The Caroll Spinney Story
For 45 years, Caroll Spinney has been beloved by generations of children as the man behind Sesame Street's Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch - and at 80 years old, he has no intention of stopping. A loving portrait of the man in the yellow suit, I Am Big Bird: The Caroll Spinney Story features extraordinary footage of Spinney's earliest collaborations with Jim Henson as it traces his journey from bullied child to childhood icon. And as the yellow feathers give way to grey hair, it is the man, not the puppet, who will steal your heart. Bonus Features: Deleted Scenes: Caroll on Camera, Caroll Meets Michael Jackson, Oscar the Grouch, Big Bird's Biggest Fan, First Date, Deb's Song, Chinese Big Bird.
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Warner Bros
The Man From U.N.C.L.E: The Complete Season One
Meet the Men From U.N.C.L.E. Napoleon Solo - suave, seductive, and trained to kill.
Illya Kuryakin – mysterious, calculating, and deadly efficient. Together, they outwit spies and saboteurs, impostors and assassins, insidious machines and power-hungry madmen as agents for the United Network Command for Law and Enforcement – the men from U.N.C.L.E. Here, for the first time, is the classic television series that helped launch the '60s spy mania, digitally remastered and brought to you on DVD. You'll enjoy every challenging mission, the many outlandish gadgets, and each narrow escape as you watch Solo (Robert Vaughn) and Kuryakin (David McCallum) take on Thrush and its axis of evil allies around the globe. The mission begins here – in this spine-tinglingly exciting 10-DVD collection, featuring all 29 episodes from the groundbreaking first season of The Man From U.N.C.L.E. You'll be on a white-knuckle ride-from the first gripping moments of the series pilot, "The Vulcan Affair," through every surprise this history-making collection has in store. So if you have spy-sleuthing, table-turning adventure in your sights...you've reached your ultimate destination. There's no resisting The Man From U.N.C.L.E.
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Cinedigm
The Little Loopers
Hutch McGee, a former golf pro, has hit rock bottom. After one of his bets goes south, Hutch finds himself in trouble, and sentenced to coach a local youth team, the Little Loopers. He isn't exactly enthused, and they get off to a rocky start. However, with the help of the club's director, Miss Wright (Natalie Imbruglia), Hutch learns he has more in common with the young teenagers than he thought. As they train for an upcoming tournament, Hutch and the golfers find themselves learning new lessons about life.
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Universal
Unfriended
From the producers of The Purge and Ouija and the director of Wanted comes an original thriller where a seemingly innocent prank starts a sequence of events that spirals out of control. Unfriended unfolds over a teenager's computer screen as she and her friends are stalked by an unseen figure who seeks vengeance for a shaming video that led a vicious bully to kill herself. On the anniversary of the shocking suicide, the very same friends who thought there would be no consequences to their actions will find out just how deadly wrong they are.
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Paramount
Chocolate City
Welcome to Chocolate City, where the music is hot, the mood is magical, and the dancers are simply delicious. Women go wild when the arrival of a young, new dancer (Robert Richard) has the spot sizzling like never before. Michael, a college student, is struggling to help his mother (Vivica A. Fox) make ends meet. When his part time job doesn't pay the bills, he begins to find success at the nightclub dancing as "Sexy Chocolate." As the money starts rolling in, Michael must deal with the unexpected pressure of being the new favorite flavor while hiding his "job" from his mother and girlfriend. Co-starring Tyson Beckford and Michael Jai White, Chocolate City is a steamy, fun ride that has all the right moves.
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Warner Bros
Hot Pursuit
Academy Award winner Reese Witherspoon is Officer Cooper, an uptight and by-the-book cop trying to protect a federal witness, Daniella Riva (Sofia Vergara), the vivacious and outgoing widow of a drug boss. As the two polar opposites race through Texas, they find themselves pursued by everyone from crooked cops to murderous gunmen. But their greatest obstacle to making it out alive may be themselves, in this high-action, high-hilarity road-trip comedy. Bonus (Blu-ray + DVD + UltraViolet) Features: "The Womance"- Reese and Sofia's on-set crazy mashup antics light up the screen with their sidesplitting comedic styling; "Hot Pursuit: Say What?" - Hilarity ensues when Reese and Sofia try to speak each other's languages, leaving them tongue-tied; "Action Like A Lady": Gag Reel and Alternate Ending.
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Magnolia
The Dead Lands
Hongi (James Rolleston) - a Maori chieftain's teenage son - must avenge his father's murder in order to bring peace and honor to the souls of his loved ones after his tribe is slaughtered through an act of treachery. Vastly outnumbered by a band of villains, led by Wirepa (Te Kohe Tuhaka), Hongi's only hope is to pass through the feared and forbidden Dead Lands and forge an uneasy alliance with the mysterious Warrior (Lawrence Makoare), a ruthless fighter who has ruled the area for years. Bonus Features: "The Making Of The Dead Lands"; "Behind The Scenes Comparisons"; Exploring The Dead Lands" - Creating A Traditional Maori World; Theatrical Premiere Q&A and Interview With James Cameron.
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Fox
True Story
Academy Award nominees James Franco and Jonah Hill star in this mesmerizing thriller from cowriter-director Rupert Goold, based on a chilling real-life story. After journalist Michael Finkel (Hill) is fired from The New York Times for embellishing a story, he learns that accused murderer Christian Longo (Franco) has been claiming to be him. Hoping this story will save his career, Finkel begins interviewing Longo in prison. But soon, the men find themselves in an eerie game of cat and mouse in this psychological drama that also stars Oscar nominee Felicity Jones. Bonus (Blu-ray + UltraViolet) Features: Alternate Ending; Deleted Scenes; "The Truth Behind True Story; "The Making of True Story"; "Who Is Christian Longo?"; Mike Finkel Featurette; Director's Audio Commentary and Gallery.
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